Pineapples and Fertility

If you have been trying to get pregnant and are a part of the online fertility community, you probably already know that the pineapple has been adopted a symbol for women undergoing fertility treatment, particularly IVF. You may also be curious as to how this came to be.

How did pineapple become a symbol for IVF and overcoming infertility?
Pineapples have long been a symbol for unrelated things. Those who have travelled on the east coast of the US, know that the pineapple has long been a popular symbol for hospitality. Many hotels and inns in the port cities display the pineapple as symbol on their signage, welcoming guests and passers by. Unfortunately, the history of this particular symbolism also has a darker side, one which we don’t go into here.

More recently, women undergoing infertility treatment, particularly IVF, have adopted the pineapple as a symbol as a sign of hope. It is generally believed that the adoption of this symbol is based on the idea that eating pineapple may have some beneficial effects on fertility.

Why would pineapple potentially help your fertility?
Pineapple contains a mixture of enzymes called bromelain, which is especially concentrated in the core of the pineapple. Research suggests  that bromelain consumption may reduce inflammation, thin the blood and reduce scar tissue formation.  There is some very limited evidence that it may help with diseases such as arthritis, sinus problems and some gastrointestinal issues. 

It is also a commonly held belief that this bromelain also may improve improve embryo implantation. It is not uncommon for fertility patients to eat lots of pineapple, particularly the core, which is rich in these enzymes, during the transfer phase of their IVF treatment cycles when the embryo is beginning the process of implanting into the uterus.

So can pineapple or bromelin supplements actually help you get pregnant? 
Right now, unfortunately, there is little scientific evidence to support using pineapple, pineapple cores or bromelin supplement pills to help improve pregnancy rates, whether along with IVF or without. Still, the pineapple remains a potent symbol in the fertility patient community.

Are pineapple and bromelin safe to take?
Like most supplements and foods, you can get nausea or diarrhea from it, or have allergic reaction. There are no known safety issues, including those related to fertility and pregnancy, with it at this time.